16 “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.” 22 Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?” 23 Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24 Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me. 25 All this I have spoken while still with you. 26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”
British theologian John Stott believes that the key to understanding John Chapter 14 is Jesus’ promise of “two comings.” In verse 3 he says that though he is going, he will “come back.” This is referring to the parousia, Jesus’ return at the end of history to gather his people and renew the world. But then in verse 18 Jesus also says, referring to the disciples’ present life in the world, “I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you.” This promise uses the same word “come” but it is clearly not referring to Jesus’ return at the end of time. It is, as Stott puts it, an “intermediate coming” in the person of the Holy Spirit, who is given to the church so powerfully at Pentecost that we can have real communion with Jesus and know his love and presence. Stott adds that at the Second Coming, Jesus will receive them into the “house” of the Father’s heaven, but in the intermediate coming, his disciples receive him into the “house” of their own hearts so he may dwell with them. Indeed the Greek word “mansion” or “dwelling place” is used both in verse 3, where we find a home in heaven and in verse 23, where Jesus finds a home with us. “It is only when we truly believe these promises of Jesus Christ that he has not left us… that we shall be cured of spiritual heart trouble and enjoy peace.”
To understand the peace and missional purpose the Holy Spirit gives the church.
• Share the name (or initials) of a friend, colleague or neighbor whom you will seek to actively and humbly love.
• Share about any meaningful conversations you have had with friends who don’t identify as Christians.
• Catch one another up on your lives so we can celebrate, thank God, and share challenges that need prayer.